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Consultation on CPS Legal Guidance on Secondary Liability

Outcome of this consultation
Opening date:
Closing date:

Following a public consultation, the CPS has published a final revised version of its Legal Guidance on Secondary Liability (previously titled “Joint Enterprise”).

The interim guidance on which we consulted was published in July 2017, in response to the decision of the Supreme Court in R v Jogee; Ruddock v The Queen [2016] UKSC 8; UKPC 7.

The Guidance sets out the main principles of secondary liability, as stated in Jogee and the subsequent Court of Appeal cases on secondary liability, R v Johnson & Others [2016] EWCA Crim 1613 and R v Anwar [2016] EWCA Crim 551.


We have published a Summary of Consultation Responses, which sets out the main responses we received and explains the changes we have made to the guidance in light of these responses.

Consultation content

Background information:

The Supreme Court addressed the controversial doctrine of "parasitic accessory liability" (PAL). Where PAL applied, if two people (D1 and D2) set out to commit crime A, and in the course of that venture D1 commits crime B, D2 would be guilty as an accessory to crime B if he had foreseen the possibility that D1 might act as he did.

The Supreme Court held that the law had taken a wrong turn 30 years earlier and was in error, as it equated foresight with intent to assist. The correct approach is to treat foresight as evidence of intent to assist D1 in crime B.

Questions for consultation:

In advance of its finalisation and implementation, we would welcome your views on four specific questions regarding the guidance:

  1. Does the section on Principles of Secondary Liability cover all the main principles accurately?
  2. Does the section on Conditional intent cases provide clear guidance that accurately reflects the law post-Jogee?
  3. Do the sections on charging group assaults provide clear guidance on how to approach charging decisions in such cases post-Jogee?
  4. Do you have any further comments on the Legal Guidance on Secondary Liability?

Any comments that you have outside these questions are also welcome.

How to Respond

Please note that all responses need to be received by 23:59 hrs on the closing date.


It would be helpful if you could give your feedback using the Secondary Liability Consultation response form.

Please return your completed feedback to

If you are replying by email, we would be grateful if you would not attach any other documents to the consultation response form document.

There are limits on the size of documents that we are able to accept and any completed response form document which has an attachment runs the risk of not being delivered. If you wish to send an attachment to us, or raise any queries that you have on the consultation, these can be submitted separately to the same e-mail address shown above.

Hard copy

We would prefer electronic submissions if possible but, if you would rather submit your feedback in hard copy it can be returned, by the same date, to:

John Edwards
Secondary Liability Consultation
Crown Prosecution Service
9th Floor North
Rose Court
Southwark Bridge Road

Please include your name, organisation (if applicable), postal address, telephone number and email address in any response.

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Responses: Confidentiality and disclaimer

The information you send us may be passed to colleagues within the CPS, the Government or related agencies. Furthermore, information provided in response to this consultation, including personal information, may be published or disclosed in accordance with the access to information legislation including the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

If you want the information that you provide to be treated as confidential, please be aware that, under FOIA, there is a statutory Code of Practice with which public authorities must comply and which deals, amongst other things, with obligations of confidence. In view of this it would be helpful if you could briefly explain to us why you regard the information you have provided as confidential.

If we receive a request for disclosure of the information we will take full account of your explanation, but we cannot give an assurance that confidentiality can be maintained in all circumstances. An automatic confidentiality disclaimer generated by your IT system will not be regarded as binding on the CPS.

Please ensure your response is marked clearly if you wish your response and name to be kept confidential. Confidential responses will be included in any statistical summary of numbers of comments received and views expressed. The CPS will process your personal data in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018 - in the majority of circumstances this will mean that your personal data will not be disclosed to third parties.

CPS Consultations

We want to hear your views about our prosecution policy. You can help us to be better informed, fairer and more representative by participating in our consultations. We welcome your feedback.

Alternative formats

If you require a copy of the consultation papers in any other format, for example, large print or Braille, please contact the e-mail or postal addresses above.

How to respond to consultations

  • Visit the consultation page
  • Read the consultation documents
  • Respond to the consultation using the online form, by email or by post
  • Make sure you submit your response by the closing date

Government Consultation Principles

The Consultation Principles 2016 are available from the Cabinet Office website (opens in new window).

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